This is a very common question and one we get asked every day of the week here at Pet Essentials. Dogs eating too quickly is a relatively easy problem to remedy but owners often underestimate the importance of tackling this problem.

Dogs who eat too quickly have an increased risk  of “Dog Bloat”, which is the common term used for the condition Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus occurs when the stomach quickly fills with food, fluid or gas. It is in essence a twisting of the gut resulting in blood being trapped in the stomach reducing blood flow to vital organs and can have very serious consequences.

So How Do We Ensure That Our Dog Eats Slowly?

1. Smaller feeds, little and often. Naturally if a dog is very hungry it will attack its bowl with enthusiasm and wolf down its food therefore it is important to offer smaller feeds more regularly. If your dog is wolfing down its food we recommend three feeds, morning, afternoon and evening following the daily guidelines of your pet food of choice.

2. Slow Down Bowls. Fantastic bowls that do not allow your pet to plunge its head into the food and devour everything in sight in one or two gulps! Typically slow down bowls have raised areas within the bowl which make it impossible for your pet to get its mouth into the bowl. Your pet will have to maneuver the kibbles to an area where they can be picked up thereby slowing down ingestion. We have a range of these bowls in different sizes available at Pet Essentials, Carrigaline and would be only too happy to discuss these with you.

3. Interactive Feeding Maze. Similar in concept to the slow down bowl but a little more challenging. Has the added bonus of stimulating your dog at feed time.

4. Biscuit Size and Shape. Pet food companies are very aware of this problem and some of the premium brands such as Royal Canin have developed kibbles designed to slow down the rate of ingestion. Also they have done a lot of research to determine the right size and shape of kibble for each specific breed. If a larger breed is fed on small kibbles (biscuits) then they will just hoover them up and may not chew the kibble, swallowing them whole. Choose a product whose kibble shape and size is designed specifically for your particular breed. Our staff at Pet Essentials would be only too happy to advise you.